Do Lawn Mowers Take Regular Gas?

Are you wondering if your lawn mower takes regular gas?

Today we will tell you what type of gas all the popular mower brands require.

Nearly all lawn mowers use a Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, Kohler or LCT (Liquid Combustion Technology) small engines so we only need to cover what gas those small engine use.

Do all lawnmowers take regular gas? 

The Gist:

  • All lawn mowers for residential use take regular unleaded gasoline.
  • It is recommended you use fresh (not stored for more than 30 days), clean gasoline with an octane rating higher than 86 and ethanol content of no more than 10%.

Let’s look at the specifics of what each brand of lawn mower small engine says about gasoline in their user manuals.

What Gas Do Honda Engine Lawn Mowers Take?

Honda makes small engines used in lawn mowers, water pumps, pressure washers, snow blowers and more.

They make residential (GC) and commercial (GX) grade engines ranging in size from 100cc to 779cc.

All Honda small engines in lawn mowers require you to use regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 86 or higher.

What Gas Do Kohler Engine Lawn Mowers Take?

Kohler makes a wide range of small engines used in all types of power equipment. They are popular in many types of push and riding lawn mower.

Their most powerful small engine for riding lawn mowers is their V-Twin 752cc 27HP engine. Their smallest engine for lawn mowers is 149cc.

All Kohler small engines in lawn mowers require you to use clean, fresh, regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher.

What Gas Do Kawasaki Engine Lawn Mowers Take?

Kawasaki engines are popular on riding mowers. We haven’t seen any on residential-duty walk-behind mowers.

They are part of the big 4 small engine makers for lawn mowers with Honda, Briggs and Kohler.

And just like the rest of them Kawasaki recommends you use 87 octane or higher in their lawn mower engines.

What Gas Do Briggs & Stratton Engine Lawn Mowers Take?

Briggs & Stratton is a popular type of engine for walk behind lawn mowers because it is budget friendly. You will see many lawn mower brands choosing Briggs engines for their mowers.

B & S have a large selection of engine for lawn mowers including their premium Vanguard commercial engines for commercial riding lawn mowers.

Two of the mowers we have in the shop have Briggs engines and they’re great.

Do they use regular gas?

All Briggs & Stratton powered lawn mowers require you to use clean, fresh, unleaded gasoline with a minimum 87 octane rating and max 10% ethanol.

What Gas Do LCT (Liquid Combustion Technology) Engine Lawn Mowers Take?

LCT makes engines is an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of small engines for third parties. Many times you see a lawn mower brand the same as the engine brand (except for Honda) that engine will have been made by an OEM. LCT is one of the bigger OEMs for lawn mowers.

All LCT engine lawn mowers require regular unleaded 87 octane gasoline with no more than E10 (10% ethanol).

Answering Your Questions

Q: What does octane even mean?

A: The octane rating tells us the fuels ability to not explode under compression. The higher the octane the more compressed the fuel needs to be to explode. Since we want to compress the fuel as much as possible in the combustion chamber before igniting it, a higher octane gasoline is best for turning the maximum amount of chemical energy into mechanical energy.

Q: What if I put lower octane gasoline in my lawn mower?

A: In short, nothing. The regular unleaded gasoline lower octane burns easier and so it will ignite sooner than higher octane. Inside the engine are what’s called ‘knock sensors’ that detect and adjust for this. However, you should use the octane rating recommended in the lawn mower user manual for increased engine lifespan.

Q: How long can I store regular gas in my jerry can?

A: It depends on the jerry can and room temperature. If the jerry can is properly sealed and where you are storing it normal room temp 68F (20C) then it can technically last up to a year. If the jerry can is not properly sealed and the temperature is higher it won’t last 3 months. However, most small engine makers for lawn mowers insist you use fresh gasoline having been in storage no more than 30 days.

Sources: All the lawn mower user manuals we own.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a NALP certified Lawn Care Manager and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about power equipment for 12 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, Wirecutter, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, MSN, Realtor.com, and more. He owns 194 acres in the country (and mows 50 acres of it) but lives on 1/4 acres in the suburbs. He currently owns and uses 6 different lawn mowers and has hands-on tested nearly 30.